One of the first things that should be addressed is where crystals come from and how they get from the Earth to your home.
The history of crystal mining dates back thousands of years, with ancient civilizations extracting and using minerals and gemstones for jewelry, decorative objects, and religious purposes. In recent history, the demand for crystals increased as the use of minerals and gems in various industries grew. This led to the commercialization of crystal mining, with companies and individuals setting up mines to extract crystals for profit.
However, as the demand for crystals continued to grow, some mines became overexploited, leading to environmental degradation and the depletion of natural resources. Additionally, some countries lack of regulation and oversight led to unethical and illegal mining practices, such as child labor, exploitation, and environmental degradation.
In recent years, there has been increasing awareness of the negative impact of crystal mining and a growing movement to promote ethical and sustainable sourcing practices. For example, some companies have committed to sourcing crystals from responsible mines that prioritize the well-being of workers and the environment.
Know What You're Paying For
It helps to do some research ahead of time and know more about what you're looking for. It is helpful to know additional details like what other names it's called, how to identify it correctly, or what variations exist. Very commonly, elements are sold under fancier names as the item is beautiful but not very elegant. For example, the popular mineral halite is a pretty pink salt.
The more manipulated the stone is, the higher the cost will be. Stones come in all different states, from raw, to tumbled, shaped or carved, beads, mounted, and sometimes even set in jewelry. Each of these stages means increased tools, skill, and handiwork, resulting in a higher cost. The bottom line is that the further from the original state, the higher price will be.
Where to Shop
Metaphysical shops will often mark up their prices under the guise that they are clearing the stone's energy and imbuing it with additional healing energies. You can (and should!) do these things yourself at home! You are fully empowered and capable of doing this, even if you consider yourself a novice!
Rock shops may not be as outwardly pretty as metaphysical shops, but you can often find a more extensive assortment of locally sourced items and much more reasonable prices. You can also typically find supplies for jewelry making and other lapidary supplies.
Crystals appear in the most exciting places these days. I've found crystals in stores like Ross, T.J. Maxx, and Homegoods. I've also been able to find crystals secondhand in thrift shops, yard sales, and estate sales. As crystals have become popular, you can even find them in mainstream stores; just be sure they are "genuine" and not plastic or glass.
What Are You Guided Towards
Clients often ask me what type of crystals they should purchase, but I don't believe that there are specific crystals that each person should have in their collection. It doesn't make sense to buy something you don't love if it doesn't resonate with you. Instead, you should pick the stones you are intuitively guided to choose. Most of the time, the crystal aligns with the goals that you've already set for yourself.
If you pay attention to the signs, you'll be guided to the right crystal. It may sparkle a little more, wink at you, and sing a sweet little love song, but whatever it is, it's a sign that it wants to come home with you. The best way to pick a crystal is to see how it feels. Think Harry Potter and the Phoenix feather wand--you'll know when it's just right.
Every area on Earth has crystals, rocks, and different elements that can be found locally. Try going out in nature and discovering some of the native rocks and minerals in your area! Social media groups are an excellent resource for locations. Be mindful that you're not on private property, taking landscaping stones, and obeying all local and Bureau of Land Management laws.
Rockhounding is a great activity for all ages! The investment is mainly time and a few tools, but the payoff can be huge! It's highly fulfilling to discover your own crystals. It's also an extremely grounding and calming hobby.
How have you grown your crystal collection? Any secrets you'd like to share? I would love to hear about it in the comments below!
Arielle is a best-selling author, holistic life coach and intuitive energy healer.